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UCL: Osimhen Double Fire Napoli into Historic Q’final
*Poor Liverpool knocked out third time from Europe by Real Madrid
Duro Ikhazuagbe with agency report
Nigerian international, Victor Osimhen, scored twice as Napoli cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time with a 3-0 (5-0 aggregate) comfortable win over German Bundesliga ‘s Eintracht Frankfurt.
The two goals pushed Osimhen’s goal haul to 23 from 28 games for Napoli this season.
With Luciano Spalletti’s side two goals up from the first leg, the Super Eagles striker’s thumping header in first-half stoppage time dispelled any lingering nerves at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Osimhen doubled the Italians’ lead on the night with a close-range finish from Giovanni di Lorenzo’s cross eight minutes after the break and, having been brought down in the box, Piotr Zielinski converted the penalty himself to make it 3-0.
With a commanding 18-point lead at the top of Serie A, Napoli head into the last eight with a real chance to compete for top prize in European football.
The build-up to the match had been overshadowed as Eintracht Frankfurt fans clashed with police after arriving in Naples despite being banned from attending the second leg of the last-16 tie.
Napoli who enjoyed the last half hour as they completed the joint-largest aggregate win by an Italian side in the Champions League knockout stages (25 goals) joined Serie A rivals Inter and AC Milan in the quarter finals.
Elsewhere on the night, Liverpool’s Champions League hopes ended at the hands of Real Madrid for a third consecutive season as they failed to overcome their first-leg Anfield demolition.
The Reds, who lost the first leg 5-2, lined up with four forwards at the Bernabeu as they looked to add another famous comeback to their fabled European history.
But that rarely looked on the cards and legendary Real striker Karim Benzema put the tie beyond doubt when he tucked in from Vinicius Jr’s cutback late on.
Jurgen Klopp’s side would have lost this game by more if not for Alisson.
The Reds goalkeeper denied Vinicius and Eduardo Camavinga with magnificent first-half stops. If Darwin Nunez had taken a chance in the sixth minute, then it could have been a different story.
Liverpool players walked off to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ on the Bernabeu speakers as they reflected on their biggest ever 6-2 aggregate Champions League defeat.